The domination of the Mc Laren MP4/4 during the 1988 season, with 15 wins on 16 races, was the result of its superiority in handling and engine. Honda had the most powerful and frugal engine, the comparison with the other turbo engines, especially with the Ferrari, was astonishing. The handling of the car was the best too, the Lotus 100 T, fitted with the same Honda engine, showed poor performance and the gap between the two cars was most of the time more than 3 seconds by lap.
Here are datas from 1988 Imola GP, during classification, showing maxi speeds in acceleration (on the finish line) and at the end of a straight. The superiority of the Honda engine at the beginning of the season was huge : the four best speeds were done by Honda powered cars with an advantage of 12,2 Km/h over the "best of the rest", Benetton Ford, on the finish line. The handling was not bad too, Senna setting its best lap with an advantage of more than 3 seconds on the Lotus driven by Piquet, Benetton Ford first atmo car and Berger's Ferrari.
Same story during the race, the two Mc Laren cars lapping the other ones, their best lap being nearly 3 seconds better than the following Lotus and Benetton.